I’m pretty sure my first glimpse of the doe-eyed weiner-dog head marking the Doggie Diner in San Francisco would have been on one of my childhood trips to the San Francisco zoo. However I have no recollection of it – it probably registered as just another animal in the menagerie. If my parents fed my hungry siblings and I, it was likely within the friendly confines of the zoo itself.
But I do remember a night years later, riding shotgun in a Oldsmobile Delta 88 with my friends Bruce, Ken and Ted, towing a trailer full of dirt bikes on Van Ness Avenue. We were making our way up Highway 101 to a motorcycle race in Northern California. That adventure is a story all by itself; we were hungry, we were cold, and we were irritated with each other. We couldn’t even agree on whether to stop. But that dog was looking right at us as if to say, “You need to get in here and eat some food.” We all felt it and obeyed.